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St Austell Shopping Centre Refused

St Austell
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5:52am 17th January 2014
(Updated 5:52am 17th January 2014)

The man whose vote blocked a controversial out of town shopping centre in St Austell has told Pirate FM too much of Cornwall would have suffered.

After a six hour meeting planners were evenly split about Coyte Farm - which might have meant big names like Primark and Marks and Spencer.

With votes split exactly down the middle, chair Rob Nolan stepped in to break the deadlock.

He said: "I think it is the right decision because it would have been in competition with St Austell town centre. The figures from our expert told us it would take 30% of the trade away from St Austell town centre and, for small shops, that's enough to finish them off in my view.

"The figures suggest it was going to take money out of Bodmin, Liskeard, further afield small villages. It would be a convenient place to go to and a lot of places would suffer."

The £110m scheme would also have included a supermarket, restaurant and hotel.

High street traders had argued it was too big and would destroy their businesses.

Jessica Milne speaks for locals who wanted it built and says it is a blow: "Rather than immediately jumping to the idea that this is going to be a devastating thing to the town centre and destroy farmland, considering the history of St Austell and the years of decline you have to look at it and look at the benefits and weigh up the pros and cons and decide which is better.

"Saying no to something is what this town has historically done a lot and I really believe you have to have a positive yes vibe sometimes in order to be seen as a town that is encouraging of investment, of wanting young people to work and live here. To generally be a welcoming place that invites growth."

This is not necessarily the end of the road for the controversial scheme.

Developers can appeal against the decision or submit a fresh plan in a couple of years time.

But supporters fear by then the big name chains will have moved elsewhere in Cornwall.

5:52am 17th January 2014

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